Benjamin and Ruth Smith's family at Five Acres (General)

by Forest Freda, Monday, November 02, 2020, 23:00 (1296 days ago)

My granny was Jessie Smith daughter of Ruth nee Brown and Benjamin Smith of Five Acres. By the time she married Thomas Marchant at St Johns Coleford in 1916, Benjamin her father a former collier had died also her brother Benjamin dob 07/02/1876 had died in 1913.She had the following siblings Amos dob 26/12/1879, Frank dob 14/09/1874 and Annie dob 03/01/1885. I am trying to trace the family and find out what happened to them. I have also found a postcard from Jessie's cousin Bert Hawkins from Pennsylvania threatening to black the eye of anyone who courted her, is he possibly related to the Hawkins family in one of the threads? I have photos of family I think are Smiths from the Forest who settled in Newcastle Australia, would love to pull their story together...

Benjamin and Ruth Smith's family at Five Acres

by sidtoomey01 @, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Tuesday, November 03, 2020, 01:05 (1296 days ago) @ Forest Freda


Welcome to the Forum.
To help me help you, are you interested in Jessies Ancestors or Descendants or both and have you seen the records which are on this site ?

Sid Toomey

Benjamin and Ruth Smith's family at Five Acres

by Forest Freda, Monday, November 09, 2020, 17:07 (1289 days ago) @ sidtoomey01

Hello Sid, Both I know the sons ( Amos and Frank Smith went to NSW coalfields between the wars and I would so like to try and name some sepia tint photos I inherited from my mum. I would love to know which house in Five Acres was Benjamin and Ruth's. It sold for £120 according to a postcard sent back to their daughter Jessie. It had a cellar and you could hear miners working beneath it???? My Granny was their daughter Jessie Smith who married Thomas Marchant in 1916 at Coleford. By the time she married her father Benjamin was dead. He had been a freeminer like his father Edward Smith (born 1819) also a freeminer.
I also know my mother's Aunt and Uncle owned Beaulieu farm near Staunton at some point, but that it was taken over in WW2 as he wasn't a good farmer as his sheep leapt off his horsedrawn cart when he drove back from Monmouth. They were referred to as Uncle Mont and Auntie Lyle. I also knew of an Aunty Nell who lived at and owned cottages in the Scowles and must have died in the 1970s?? They were related to the Smiths? Not sure how.
I am keen to find out as much as I can both about forebears and descendants.
Many thanks for answering my query. It would be great to find out where to look, and to make some reasonable guesses about who's who!!!

Benjamin and Ruth Smith's family at Five Acres

by sidtoomey01 @, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 11:37 (1288 days ago) @ Forest Freda

Using the Parish Records search on this site i found that on the 2nd October 1875 Benjamin Smith married Ruth Brown of the Parish of Newland.
Brides Father was Joseph Brown a Blacksmith.
Grooms Father was Edward Smith deceased of Berry Hill
Married in the Parish Chapel Christchurch.

Ruth Chamberlain Brown was Baprtised 29th March 1854.
Residence given as Lower Lane.
Father Joseph Brown
Mother Elizabeth Brown
Baptised at Christchurch Chapel.

In 1841 Census, Joseph and Elizabeth Brown were living at Hillers Land Christchurch.
Occupation Blacksmith.
They have 10 Baptism records on this site with the first child Joseph starting 1st August 1841.

Joseph Brown was born at Walford Herefordshire.
His wife Elizabeth born at Ross Herefordshire.

Using the Ordnance Survey maps on "Know Your Place, Gloucestershire", and the localities, residences mentioned for this family in the Census and Baptism/marriage records, it is possible to get a close idea of where they lived but in the various Census returns there aren't many identifying buildings to pin point it down to a house.

However, in 1854 they were living at "Lower Lane". I believe i have found a "Smithy" marked on a map which should be them, but the lanes aren't mentioned by name so i will check this further.

Does this help ?

The Descendants who came to Newcastle NSW might be harder to find with a common Surname like they have. Also Newcastle and the nearby Hunter Valley have had a lot of coal mining over the years.

Sid Toomey

Benjamin and Ruth Smith's family at Five Acres

by Forest Freda, Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 12:40 (1288 days ago) @ sidtoomey01

That is very interesting Sid! Thank you for finding this information. Ruth and Benjamin Smith's sons were Amos dob 26/2/1892, Frank dob 14/9/1874 and Benjamin 07/02/1876-1913. I wonder what Benjamin's cause of death was at 37? Is there any way to find out. I presume he was a miner like his father and grandfather. And were Amos and Frank called up at 22 and 40 in 1914-18 war. Are there records of call up in the Forest. Its all very interesting but sad as the fathers don't seem to have lived long enough to see their daughters married.
I wish I could find out which was my Granny's childhood home in Fiveacres!
Thank you so much for the information so far.
Best wishes

Forest Freda!

Frank Smith in Australia.

by sidtoomey01 @, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 21:08 (1287 days ago) @ Forest Freda


Regarding your Frank and Amos WW1 Military Records, "Find My Past" has free access to Military Records ending tomorrow at the latest. Do you know their Regiment ?

On the Smiths in Newcastle I found the following :-

Registration Number 4870/1960, Frank Smith Died in Newcastle Registration District. 30th January 1960 (from NSW Historical BDM free search . ).Parents Benjamin and Ruth.

Frank Smith Brown also known as Frank Smith late of Carrington NSW, Retired Coal Trimmer probate of Will Granted. (From "Trove " free search of digitised Newspapers and Government Gazettes. NSW Government Gazettes private notices of 6th May 1960).

Using "Ancestry" search of Australian Electoral Rolls he first appears in 1930 as living at 71 Scott Street Carrington (a suburb of Newcastle).
Also at this address was Elizabeth Smith and Vera Smith and Jessie Christianna Smith.
Frank Smith was a Coal Trimmer and the rest were home duties.
Scott Street is close to the Harbour where the coal ships were loaded.

1937 Electoral Rolls a Nellie Smith appears same address. (with following information this is when Nellie would have been 21 and eligible to vote)

1943 Electoral Rolls Elizabeth, Frank, Jessie Christianna, Nellie and Vera all at the same address.
1954 Electoral Rolls . Frank, Nellie and Vera still at same address
1968 Electoral Rolls Nellie and Vera still at same address.

From TroveArticle - Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954)Tuesday 19 August 1952
Nellie Smith aged 35 of Scott Street Carrington, struck by cycle, suffered general abrasions and taken to Hospital by ambulance.

From NSW Historical BDM search In 1970 Vera Smith of Newcastle Registration District, Vera Smith Died. Registration number 80235/1970.

From a search of National Archives of Australia (free) a Nellie Smith of Carrington NSW with date of birth 19th February 1916 enlisted in the Australian Citizens Military Forces at Paddington NSW. Number NF 456641. Next of Kin was Frank Smith. Her place of Birth was recorded as Carrington but this could be wrong. To see the record in detail you have to pay but if someone else pays then it becomes free to all future searchers.

If you Google " 71 Scott Street Carrington, Newcastle NSW Australia you should be able to come up with an aerial view of the location and then get a street view. The house still exists and is a typical timber workers cottage from the early 20th Century. Has a new corrugated roof and aluminium framed windows but otherwise looks original.

Hope this helps

Sid Toomey

Frank Smith in Australia.

by Forest Freda, Monday, September 13, 2021, 22:06 (981 days ago) @ sidtoomey01

Dear Sid,
Apologies for massive delay! Computer broke then lockdown! All your kind work much appreciated. Now I have a box of postcards and photos to go through! I found a photo of a soldier (George -Smith I think) addressed to Jiminia and Amos and family wishing them a merry exam (sic) and a Happy New Year I assume it is the Smith family. George is wearing puttees and military uniform with a flat cap. Would love to post it up!


Benjamin and Ruth Smith's family at Five Acres

by sidtoomey01 @, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Thursday, November 12, 2020, 05:25 (1287 days ago) @ Forest Freda


Regarding your Granny's childhood home, it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly the building as all the documents i looked at aren't very descriptive .
Using the Parish Records transcriptions from this site, and Ancestry Census Records I looked at records from 1875 (marriage of Ruth and Benjamin) through to 1919 Electoral Rolls (Ruth Smiths address), all of the records appear to fall within approximately one mile diameter. (according to the measurement tool on National Library of Scotland Ordnance Survey maps).
This area is bounded on the West by Grove Road.
Horizontally by the A4136 Lower Lane. (also known as 5 Acre Road) ( Members of the family appear to have lived along Five Acre Road at different times)
On the East by Woodgate Road
On the South East by Edge End Road. ( This is where the Royal Foresters Inn is still located)
To get the best feel for where everything was located use
When you open it up you should see an old survey map of Berry Hill and Five Acres.
Across the top you should have "explore georeferenced maps" showing in the centre of three boxes.
Just below that is a single line box. click on this and select "Bing Satellite" or "Bing Road Map". Each of them should be self explanatory to give you a concealed background image depending on which one you want to use to see a modern view of what you are looking at.
In the large box on the left hand side (at the bottom of it) you should see " change transparency of overlay". When you drag the button left or right the image should change from the old map to the modern view.

As an example, 1891 Census just before your Grannie was born, Ruth and Benjamin lived in "Woodgate". According to the Census, just six households separated them from the Inn.

Another example, in 1881 Census Ruths parents Joseph (the Blacksmith) and Elizabeth Brown lived on Five Acre Road . According to the probable travel of the Census Enumerator, they lived after Berry Hill Farm and after Little Five Acres Farm but before Five Acres Farm.
looking at the old map there weren't too many houses there along the road at the time and when you drag the new satellite image across they are mostly still there.

Also 1901 Census Ruth and Benjamin and family including your Granny lived at the third household after "Top of Lonk" (shown on the old map as "The Lonk" but before Crows Ash farm which is to the South.

Armed with this information you should be able to have a nice walk in the countryside sometime looking around where your Ancestors lived but be careful you down fall down an unused shaft as the old maps show the area appears to be full of them.

Finish your walk off at the Inn. It looks like a good place for a beer or two.

I hope this is of some help

Sid Toomey

Sid Toomey

Benjamin and Ruth Smith's family at Five Acres

by sidtoomey01 @, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Friday, November 13, 2020, 09:36 (1285 days ago) @ Forest Freda

Unfortunately i cant find any evidence which would specifically locate your Grannies cottage.
However, as an alternative, would a photograph and directions to physically view your Great/Great/Great Grandparents Lodge be a suitable substitute.
To arrive at this position, I checked out each generation going backwards in time using the Parish Records search on this FOD site. Also crosschecked with Ancestry for Census records etc.
I believe i am correct but it would be worthwhile for you to double check as my wife is fond of reminding me i have been known to be wrong.

Jessie Smith. Baptised 16th June 1892 living at Mitcheldean Lane End.

Great Grandparents.
Benjamin Smith of Berry Hill and Ruth Brown of Parish of Newland.
Married 2nd October 1875
Benjamin baptised 12th December 1851

Great Great Grandparents.
Edward Smith of Berry Hill and Amelia Gwilliam of Berry Hill.
Married 29th October 1843
Edward baptised 14th December 1826 at Hillers Land.

Great Great Great Grandparents
Richard Smith and Mary Thomas.
Married 24th April 1838. at English Bicknor and living at Hillers Land.

The 1841 Census show Richard Smith and family living at Hillersland Lodge with his occupation as "Keeper of Woods"

Hillersland Lodge was also known as "Mailscot Lodge" and is located within Mailscot Woods. On a modern map it is near the Folly Lane /Wysis Way intersection.

For heaps more interesting information, do a search on this Forum for previous posts. "Richard SMITH English Bicknor 1841 Census Look Up" posted by sylviamorgan in 2007 I found most informative.

Read all of the threads to this post. You will find a link to a photograph of the Lodge circa 1900 on "Sungreen". This photo has members of the family out front of the lodge with names attached. There is also another photo on Sungreen with the Lodge and a gathering of Woodsmen from different lodges, also all named.

There is also details of the American connection to the family which you briefly mentioned.

Also there may be some old letters to follow up on.

Also, details of a monumental inscription for Richard Smith on his burial in the local churchyard.

There are most likely other posts on this sites archives to do with this family without even delving into their colliery links. I think that apart from Richard Smith, all of the men were Colliers but this is a broad statement.

Good luck and I hope this is of interest to you.

Sid Toomey.

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