Sylvester and Nicholson Family - Updated Information
Since publishing The Lives and Letters of the Sylvesters and Nicholsons in 1997 some new information has been found to correct, clarify, or expand information in that book.
These corrections and/or additions, do not include several other typographical errors noted on the "Errata" sheet mailed with the books, but correct or add significant family information. I realize that there have been many births, marriages, and deaths in the intervening years, and also that we did not have information on all descendants at the time the book was published. The descendants lists are not updated here, except for selected English families.
Chapter 1 - Joshua Sylvester
p. 3. "The story of Ann being left for four years as a widow has been distorted from the truth somewhat inasmuch as they have children born in 1809, 1812, 1814, 1815, 1818, and 1821." The old family history stating Ann had been left for four years may actually be close to the truth. [My deepest apologies to Aunt Roseinia.] The letter from Sharon Hurst, footnote #26 on p. 5, stated Benjamin Sylvester's christening was 21 Mar 1814. The parish register for St. George, Bloomsbury, is held in London. A friend checked this register in about 2001 and verified the christening in 1821 for Charles but could not find this 1814 christening for Benjamin. In 2006 I found that an index of the St. George, Bloomsbury, christenings was on microfilm [FHL F#2357938 Item 8]. This revealed that Benjamin was actually christened in 1824 not 1814.
This put several things into better perspective. First, it now meant they had children in 1809, 1812, 1815, 1818, 1821, and 1824, with a 3-year gap between children during the time Joshua was in Ireland and Europe.
I had also wondered what had taken Joshua and his family to London in 1814 for the christening of Benjamin. As this was before his half-brother Charles Sylvester had moved to this area of London in 1821, I wondered if Ann had family ties to this parish. There was a Reverend Webb in this parish in the 1780s. But with the corrected christening date, the move for Joshua and his family to London made much more sense. It seems logical that he was working with his brother, as they were living in the same parish. With Charles' untimely early death in 1828, Joshua returned to Sheffield. We will probably never know the details of these moves, but with the correction of Benjamin's christening date the story is more complete.
p. 7 The 1891 and 1901 British Census records have another son for Albenah Sylvester Marshall, John, born September 1890. The family is living in Eccleshall Bierlow in both census records. I still have not been able to locate any Marshall descendants. John Marshall is listed in 1891 as a "chartered accountant to clerk."
Chapter 1 - Charles Sylvester
p. 22 Since publishing the book, several descendants of Charles Sylvester have been contacted. This has been quite exciting. Charles' son John was the only one to have children. His descendants are listed here in the same format as the book: Information on John's wife added 8 April 2010.
1 - John SYLVESTER christened 29 November 1798 Sheffield, Yorks, England
died before 14 September 1852 (will administered that date, will dated 28 February 1852). He died 16 Aug 1852, at 96 Great Russell Street, St. George Bloomsbury, Middlesex. (Death registered in the St. Giles registration district, Vol 1b p 182, Sep 1852 quarter, certificate in possession of M. Bryson.) His occupation listed as civil engineer, age 53, died of hydatid tumours of the liver of many years and diarrhea of 14 days. Informant was Elizabeth Fairweather, present at the death, of 4 Devonshire Square, Bishopsgate Street, City [London].
md. 18 Sep 1825, St. Giles, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire
sp - Jane Hatton, christened 19 Oct 1800, also in Newcastle under Lyme, daughter of John Hatton. She was buried at St. George, Bloomsbury, Middlesex on 5 April 1830, age 30. (Although if she was christened right after birth, as was the custom, she was actually only 29 when she was buried.) There are two possible John Hattons who could have been her father, one with an unknown wife and one with wife Lydia.
2 - Charles John SYLVESTER, born 13 Nov 1826, St. John's Wood, Middlesex [London], England according to the 1851 census, but christened 5 Dec 1826 in the parish of St. George Bloomsbury. He was living at 96 Great Russell Street, St. George Bloomsbury, in the 1851 Census with his father, John, and John's sister Sarah. In 1861 he was at Mile End Town, Stepney, Middlesex. His occupation was listed as "artist in landscapes." In 1871 he was at 13 Lancaster Terrace, St. Peter Hammersmith, age 44, an "annuitant." In 1881 he was living at Margaret Villa, Hastings All Saints, Sussex, again listed as an annuitant. Living with him in that census was a Sarah Head, listed as a "sister," married age 44, born in Faversham, Kent, which is where his wife, Harriet was from. This was probably a sister-in-law, but curious that she had the same surname as the possible surname for his mother. This could be where the family tradition comes from, or there may be another link to Faversham. In 1901 he is at 6 Brighton Terrace, Enfield, Middlesex, "living on own means," a widower, living with son John, his wife and their 3 children.
died 1913. Death registered in Edmonton District, Vol 3a, p 799, Charles J. Sylvester, age 87.
md. 14 Jan 1852, Parish Church of St. Dunstans West, City of London, [marriage certificate; Charles, Gentleman of Fleet Street, s/o John Sylvester, civil engineer; Harriet, of Salisbury Squ, d/o Cornelius Woolley, farmer.]
sp - Harriet Wooley, born 1830, Faversham, Kent, England. She died before 1901. She was the daughter of Cornelius Wooley and Rebecca Carpenter.
3 - John William Wooley SYLVESTER, born 1853, Eastbourne, Sussex, England, [Eastbourne District Sep 1853 quarter, Book 2b, p 52). Died 1917.
md. 2 Feb 1887 St. Dunstan's West, London, England [ Marriage certificate, John gentleman of St. Dunstans in the West, s/o Charles John Sylvester, gentleman; and Charlotte of St. Dunstans, d/o William Smale, sawyer.]
sp - Charlotte Sarah SMALE b. 27 Jun 1867, Ore, Sussex, England daughter of William Smale and Mary Ann Turner. She died in 1946.
4 - Ida Mary Harriet SYLVESTER b. 1891, King's Cross, Middlesex, England, died 27 Apr 1969, Devon, England.
sp 1) Horace Dalziel CLARKE, b. Jul-Sep 1879, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, died 1926.
5- (Living daughter) b. 1920
5- (Living son) b. 1923
sp 2) Victor Stanley COOMBE, b. 22 Oct 1894, Southward, Surrey, England, died 1974.
5 - (Living son) b. 1932
4 - John Julius William SYLVESTER, b. 27 Jul 1894, Enfield, Middlesex, England, died 1965.
sp - Dora Helen WHITEHEAD
5 - (Living daughter) b. 1925
5 - (Living son) b. 1926
5 - (Living daughter) b. 1928
5 - (Living son) b. 1933
4 - Bertha Charlotte Augusta SYLVESTER b. 1899, Enfield, Middlesex, England [Registered in Edmonton District, book 3a, p 551, Mar 1899 quarter]. Died 1986.
sp - Ron LARMAN, died 1948.
Ann Sylvester, born 1806, daughter of Charles and Sarah, is said to have been an artist in her own right, as was her husbund, Thomas Creswick. She used the name Ann Thomas. Her floral paintings were said to have been prized by Queen Mary, but I have been unable to find any other information on her artistic career. She died age 69. Death registered in the Derby district, book 7b p 250, September 1877 quarter.
[Information for these families from Sheena Batten and Alice Spencer of England; and Judy Lewis and Leon Sylvester of Australia.]
Chapter 2 - George Sylvester
p. 25-26 Story of Agnes Sylvester
Additional, very interesting information has come to light about Agnes Sylvester. As indicated in the book, she is listed in the Sylvester family temple book as Agnes Bresser. A marriage certificate has been obtained for this marriage. On 20 Sep 1871 at St. Mary's Catholic Chapel, Derby, were married Pierre Bresser, 28, bachelor, professional cook, of 15 Newland Street, Derby, son of Andre Bresser, farmer; and Agnes Sylvester 25 years, spinster, dress maker, of Abbey Street, Derby, daughter of George Sylvester, engine fitter. The witnesses were Joseph Collumbell and Rosinear Russell, Agnes's sister.
On 9 Dec 1872 at 16 Lower Park Street, Derby, their daughter Mariettnia Rosa [name on birth certificate] was born. Father is listed as Perre Bresser, confectioner, and mother Agnes Bresser formerly Sylvester. No other children are known at this time.
On 20 Sep 1879, at 40 Siddals Road, Derby, Agnes died. The death certificate lists her as Agnes Brasser [sic] 35 years old, wife of Peter Brasser, confectioner. Cause of death was "Pressure of blood on the brain caused by being acidentally thrown out of a pony trap."
With the help of Mr. John Taylor, Local Studies Librarian at the Derby Cultural and Community Services, the following article from the Derbyshire Times of Saturday, Sep 27, 1879, was received.
FATAL COLLISION - On Monday, Mr Close, borough coroner, held an inquest at the Town Hall, Derby concerning the death of Mrs. Bressor, aged 35, who was killed at Derby the other day. -Mary Collumbell, [same surname as witness at wedding] who was also an occupant of the trap with the deceased, said that the deceased was driving down Friar-gate on the Friday evening, when a milk cart crossed the road to go from Cheapside to Curzon street, and before their trap could be pulled up a collision ensued. Deceased was thrown out, as also was the witness. -Anne Greatorex, the driver of the milk cart, said that she saw the pony and trap coming along Friar-gate, and she shouted, but the collision ensued. If deceased had pulled her left rein she might have got out of the way. -Mrs Collumbell recalled, said that deceased was quite sober, although she had called at two public houses and had gin. -The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."
Peter or Pierre Bresser, though listed as a bachelor at the time of his marriage to Agnes, may actually have been married previously, as a son John age 12 [born 1869] is listed with him in the 1881 Census. I have been unable to find this family in the 1871 British Census, using several search parameters on Ancestry.com's index. E-mails to family members say his first wife might have been Tina, with possibly another son, Kenneth, from this first marriage. There is a Bresser family in Ore, Hastings, near where Sarah Smale (see above) was from, which could be pure coincidence, or could indicate a connection between these extended families.
After Agnes's death, Peter married Mary Ann Bowen in Derby. The marriage is registered in the Dec 1880 quarter, Derby district, book 7b p 863. She was born in Droitwich, Worcester, daughter of William and Mary Ann Bowen. They had 10 children, born from 1881 to 1895 in Derby and Normanton.
1881 Census, Derby; Peter Bresser 37 baker born Rheinberg, Prussia; Annie 26, born England; John son, 12, born England; Beatrice Jonkel, visitor age 3, born England. Daughter Mariettnia was enumerated as "Teny Bresser" in Droitwich with William and Elizabeth Vale, age 9, visitor, born Derby. Elizabeth Vale is the sister of Mary Ann Bowen Bresser.
1891 Census Normanton, Derby; Peter Bresser 47, farmer, born Prussia, British subject; wife Mary A. 36 born Droitwich, Worcs; Martina 19, Derby; Wm H. 9, Armine P, 7, John T. 6, Beatrice 4; Agnes C 3, Frederick F. 1.
1901 Census, Normanton, Derby; Peter Bresser 56, baker, born Germany, British subject, married, no wife listed; William 18 apprentice brickmaker born Derby; Thomas 15 born Findern, Derby; Agnes 12, Normanton; Rudolph 10 Normanton; Kenneth 5, Normanton.
[Vic Bresser supplied some of the above information.]
*New information obtained June 2012
A marriage record for Agnes Sylvester, age 21 (she was actually 19), of Newbold upon Avon, Warwick, daughter of George Sylvester, was found dated 8 Jun 1862 in the parish church of St. Mary Northend Fulham, Middlesex to Walter Watkin Fray, age 31, bachelor, mechanic, of Vale Place, son of John Watkin Fray, gentleman. They were married by license. The license was issued 31 May 1862. "Appeared personally Walter Watkin Fray, of the Parish of Fulham, in the County of Middlesex, Bachelor, of the age of twenty one years and upwards, and prayed a License for the Solemnization of Matrimony in the Parish Church of Fulham aforesaid, between him and Agnes Silvester [sic] of the Parish of Newbold upon Avon, in the County of Warwick, Spinster, of the age of twenty one years and upwards..."
Agnes' half-brother, Walter Fray Sylvester, was born 10 Nov 1864. This marriage at least seems to resolve the mystery of where Walter Fray's name came from. But from there the mystery deepens.
As noted above, Agnes was married 20 Sep 1871 to Pierre Bresser. At that time she listed her age as 25 (though was actually 28!) and is listed as a spinster!! Walter Fray married Mary Ann Huntley on 3 Apr 1867 at St. Leonard Shoreditch, Middlesex. He listed his age as 35, and he is listed as a bachelor, son of John Fray, glover. He is listed in the 1871 British Census as a charge attendant at the Caterham Asylum in Godstone, Surrey, with his wife, Mary Ann, both age 37. He died in the March Quarter of 1886, age 53 in the Godstone Registration District. There is a record from the Court of Chancery dated 1865 Fray vs. Drew: Plaintiff: Elizabeth Fray, widow (now deceased). Defendants: include Walter Watkins Fray, listed as being "abroad." He appears to be the brother of William Watkins Fray, Rosanna Dupin Fray, David Owen Fray, William Watkins Fray (died before 1865) and possibly others.
Was that first marriage annulled because Agnes was under age without parental permission? Yet they were able to obtain a license? If they were divorced, could they then be listed as a bachelor and spinster on their subsequent marriages? There is no record of this divorce in the National Archives Index of divorce records online. Very curious, and the name of this first husband continued on in the family with Agnes' half brother, Walter Fray Sylvester. His great-granddaughter, Joyce Kidd, had never heard any stories in her family as to where the name came from.
p. 28, Enoch Randle
Johanna Macdonald found an old newspaper article about Enoch Randle's death in an old family bible in April 2010. Only the first part of the original is shown here, but the entire transcription of the article is included. Some very interesting tidbits of information are included: his address, that his daughter Rebecca Jane was a schoolteacher, and fascinating reports from his autopsy given at the inquest. The death date given in the letter from Maria Sylvester of 2 Jan 1909, is most likely incorrect as that was a Saturday, and the article says he died on a Thursday. Her letter can be found on pp 629-630 of the Sylvester/Nicholson book.
SAD FATALITY OF A MIDLAND ENGINE DRIVER: REMARKABLE POST-MORTEM REVELATIONS. – Mr P. P Maitland held an inquest at Robertshaw’s Temperance Hotel, Normanton, on Thursday, relative to the death of Enoch Randle (51), 7, Norman Villas, Snydale-road, Normanton, who died on Tuesday evening. – Rebecca Jane Randle, school teacher (deceased’s daughter), said her father had had very good health: it was eight years since he was medically attended. He had been employed on the Midland Railway as goods engine-driver for several years. Deceased left home about 4 a.m. on Tuesday, and returned about 5.10p.m.: he had been assisted into the house, having slipped on the snow. Deceased said he was not hurt, but felt cold. He was placed on the hearth-rug, and given some brandy and water. Dr Sandiford was sent for, but on his arrival he said the deceased was dead. – Ezra Moss Perkin, Lee Brigg, Altofts, Midland fireman, said he accompanied deceased on his engine on Tuesday. They signed on at Normanton at 4.35, and left at 5.50 a.m. with the Normanton-Derby train. They were relieved at Treeton at 12.40 p.m., having been delayed on the way by other trains. They then went as passengers to Sheffield, and returned to Normanton by the 2.47 p.m. slow train. Deceased seemed all right all day: he did not complain about anything. Witness signed off at 4.19 p.m., and left deceased making out his sheet. Replying to the Coroner, witness said deceased had really no dinner: he had had some bread and cheese and tea: he had, however, provisions with him to go to Derby to lodge. – Horace Allcock, The Laurels, Hasland, Chesterfield, who was visiting Normanton, said he saw deceased about 4.55p.m. lying half-way on the causeway and half-way on the road, within twenty yards of where he lived. In reply to a question, deceased said he had fallen, and told witness where he lived: witness assisted him home. – Dr Sandiford said that when he arrived deceased was dead: he looked very pinched about the lips, and his nose was drawn. Witness had made a post-mortem examination. Externally there were no marks of violence, and the body was well nourished. All the internal organs were congested more or less, and the right side of the heart was very thin and flabby. There were some arterial degeneration of the valves of the heart: this all pointed to some long-standing heart trouble, but it was of such a character that it would give rise to very few symptoms until compensation failed. The liver was healthy, but under the surface was a hydatid tumour, about the size of a child’s head, due to a worm, which deceased might have got years ago: it was a very unusual condition. – The Coroner: Would it hurt: - Witness replied the tumour in that position could exist for years without producing any symptoms. In his opinion death was due to the extreme cold: the extreme cold congested all the internal organs, leaving the surface vessels very much contracted, which necessitated stronger heart-action, which deceased’s constitution had been unable to put forth. – The Coroner said the doctor had made a very careful examination, which had been quite interesting. It appeared clear that the doctor’s opinion was correct.: the poor man had died suddenly from heart failure, due to the intensely cold weather. Verdict accordingly.
p. 29, Photo of Philip Sylvester
This picture is identified in the book as shown at left. However,
Johanna Macdonald's family identifies this picture as the twins
Jean and Daphne Randle or Henman, born 7 Aug 1928 in Blackpool,
daughters of Angelina Maria Randle, but raised by Angelina's sister,
Florence Olivia Randle Henman.
The adults are Philip Sylvester and his wife, Ada.
Children of Agnes Lawrence Sylvester.
Agnes and all 5 of her children died at very young ages. I was curious about the causes of these deaths, wondering if there was a genetic weakness causing this to happen. Death certificates revealed the following:
Agnes Lawrence Sylvester, died 11 Jul 1854 in Newbold on Avon, age 42 years, wife of George Sylvster, engine driver. The cause of death was "abortion [miscarriage], inflammation 3 days." George was the informant.
Theodore Sylvester, died 8 Mar 1860, Newbold on Avon, 21 years old, engine fitter. Cause of death listed as consumption [tuberculosis]. Informant was Mary Underwood.
Agnes Sylvester Bresser [Brasser, see above] died 20 Sep 1879, 40 Siddals Road, Derby, after being thrown from her pony trap.
Lavinia Sylvester Hobbins died 2 Jan 1872, at 1 Hewes Buildings, Trafalgar Street, St. John parish, Coventry, Warwickshire. She was 25 years old, wife of Henry Hobbins, Agas labourer. She died of small pox, 10 days; and premature labour 16 hours. Record was also found of male child born and died at this time also.
Rosina Sylvester Russell died 21 Apr 1885 at the Lunatic Asylum, Hatton, Warwick. She was 37 years old, wife of John Russell, fish salesman of Drury Lane, Rugby. The cause of death is listed as "general paralysis," which was most generally associated with the effects of either syphilis or deteriorating mental illness.
Joseph Sylvester died 14 Feb 1888 at 31 Freehold Street, Derby. He was 38, occupation listed as fitter. The informant was his widow, E. Sylvester. Cause of death was "phthisis pulmonalis" which is another term for tuberculosis.
So the two sons died of tuberculosis, but Agnes and her daughters all died of totally unrelated causes. So sad they they all died so young, however.
Also on p. 45, Theophilus Sylvester and his wife Lucy Bowers, had another child, William George Sylvester, chr 8 Feb 1880 at St. Andrews, Derby, Derbyshire. He is not listed with the family on the 1881 census.
Chapter 9 - Ann Nicholson Holland
Additional clarification on the children of Ann Nicholson Holland. Order of children is different, some spouses and children added. This compilation made from census records and Free BMD index. Certificates have not been ordered at this point for these cousins.
1 - Ann NICHOLSON
sp - Charles HOLLAND, born 1826, Rotherham, Yorks, England, died 30 Mar 1873.
2 - Margaret HOLLAND, born 1850 [July Quarter Sheffield] Sheffield, Yorks, England
died Feb 1875
md. 1870 [June quarter, Sheffield]
sp - Reubin James TAYLOR, born 1845, Sheffield. [He married secondly, Amelia, as found in 1881 census, no children]
2 - Anne Maria HOLLAND born abt 1853, Sheffield, Yorks, England
died abt 1878
md 1871 [June quarter, Sheffield]
John OLIVER, born 1830/1840, Sheffield, Yorks, England
3 - Charles OLIVER, birth registered Dec quarter 1874, Sheffield, Yorks, England
3 - George OLIVER, birth registered Jun quarter 1877, Sheffield, Yorks, England
2 - John HOLLAND, born 1855, Sheffield, Yorks, England
md 1877, March quarter 1877, Sheffield
sp - Mary Jane HODGKINSON, born 11 Jun 1855, Sheffield, Yorks, England
3 - Edith Annie HOLLAND 1877, Sheffield, Yorks, England
md 1902, Jun quarter, Sheffield
sp - Arthur Needham MACLAURIN, born 1876, Sheffield, Yorks, England
4 - Gladys Mary MACLAURIN, born 1902, December quarter, Sheffield, Yorks, England
4 - Winifred MACLAURIN, born 1904, December quarter, Sheffield, Yorks, England
3 - Ann Servina HOLLAND, born 11 Nov 1880, Sheffield, Yorks, England
3 - Ellen HOLLAND, born 22 May 1883, Sheffield, Yorks, England
died 2 Sep 1909, Sheffield, Yorks, England
3 - John Ernest HOLLAND, born 1884, Sheffield, Yorks, England
sp - Unknown
4 - John Wilfred HOLLAND
3 - Walter William HOLLAND, born 1886, Sheffield, Yorks, England
3 - Frank HOLLAND, born 1893, Sheffield, Yorks, England
2 - Mary Ellen HOLLAND, born 1856, Sheffield, Yorks, England
buried 25 Dec 1872, Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield, Yorks, England
2 - Charles HOLLAND, born 1858, Sheffield, Yorks, England
buried 7 Nov 1877, Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield, Yorks, England
2 - Rebecca HOLLAND, born 1860, Sep quarter, Sheffield, Yorks, England
died 1864, March quarter, Sheffield, Yorks, England
Added 9 Oct 2009
Chapter 2, George Sylvester
p 46, children of Enoch Randle and Angelina Sylvester
Information from Johanna Macdonald Sep 2009.
3 - Mary Anne (Molly) RANDLE, b 30 May 1883, Newbold on Avon, Warwicks, England, chr 22 Jun 1883, Newbold on Avon
died 8 Jun 1963, Auckland, New Zealand (emigrated to New Zealand, first to Christchurch, then in her 50s to Auckland.)
md. - Thomas JENKINS (he had children from a previous marriage, Myra, Leslie, and Margaret)
3 - Rebecca Jane (Jenny) RANDLE, chr 20 Jun 1886, Newbold on Avon, Warwicks, England
md. Jun quarter 1910, (Wakefield Dist Vol 9c p 37)
sp - Ernest Morton GILL
4 - Edith GILL, b 29 Apr 1918, died 29 Apr 2005, never married. Lived in Normanton all her life in family home on Cambridge St.
3 - William George RANDLE, b Mar 1889, Rugby, Warwicks, England. Served in the Machine Gun Corps in WWI.
3 - Angelina Maria (Ria) RANDLE, b. Mar 1891, Rugby, Warwicks, England.
died 1959, Blackpool, England
children born - father Albert TOWNSEND, of Blackpool. These twins were raised by Angelina's sister, Florence.
4 - Jean RANDLE or HENMAN b. 7 Aug 1928, Blackpool died 21 Feb 2004, Hamilton, New Zealand
md. 1953 to Johannes Cornelius Antonius JANSSEN b. 3 Spe 1923, Ooy, Holland, died 21 Sep 2002
5 - Johanna JANSSEN married Ian Alexander MACDONALD
5 - Kerry Antonius JANSSEN married Anne CATER (div); married Sheryl HALL.
4 - Daphne RANDLE or HENMAN b 7 Aug 1928, Blackpool, died 5 Jan 1998, Christchurch, New Zealand
md. 1967, Frederick Riley COOKE
Angelina md. Mar quarter 1936, Fylde Dist, Vol 83, p 814
sp - John C. BOTTOMLAY
3 - Florence Olivia RANDLE, b 3 Apr 1895, Normanton, Yorks, England
died 22 May 1972, Hamilton, New Zealand, buried 25 May 1972
md. June quarter 1915, Wakefield, Yorks, England, Vol 9c p 57
sp - Frederick William HENMAN (family records have William Frederick) died 8 Jul 1916, France, killed in action, Private in King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry), 1/4th Battalion.
3 - Enoch RANDLE b. Oct-Dec 1896, Altofts, Yorks, England, died in Karachi India 25 or 27 Aug 1917, Private in the 130th Co. Machine Gun Corps. Listed as died, not killed in action.
3 - Miriam Alice (Ciss) RANDLE b. Oct- Dec 1898, Altofts, Yorks, England (She was a nurse and never married.)