My second search in the newly-available 1911 census records was for the family of Joseph Priestley Roe, my great grandfather on my mother’s side. I found Joseph and his family living at 92 Oakfield Road, East Ham. Joseph was 48 and working as a general labourer, while his wife Eliza was 47; they had been married for 27 years. Living with them were their son Richard, 23, also a general labourer; daughters Flora, 22, and Elizabeth, 20, both laundresses; sons William, 18, and John, 17, both office boys with John Mowland and company (who I think were a construction firm); and daughter Minnie Louisa, 8 – my Nan and my mother’s mother. None of these children was married at the time.

According to the census record, Joseph and Eliza had had 11 children in all by this time, of whom 3 had died and 8 were still living. At least one of their children, Emma Kezia, was living in the same road. The 1911 census reveals that Emma and her husband Frederick Wernham, who had been married for 4 years, were living at 68 Oakfield Road with their two children, Violet, 3, and Frederick, 1.

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