Some Photos Related to George Wills and Descendants

12/14/2011: Please see the update to this post.

I have scanned some additional photos from an old album belonging to my grandmother.

Below is a photo of “Stone House” on Stoke Road in Blisworth, Northamptonshire. It was taken in 1913. Information passed down from my grandmother states that the house was built by George Wills in 1812 for his bride, Mary Capon, the daughter of Mary Pitt, a cousin of Sir William Pitt. A separate photo taken at a later date (possibly 1935, during my grandmother’s visit to England) shows the house from a slightly different angle. It was in this house that Mary Wills Sargent, daughter of George and Mary Wills was born. Also supposedly born here were two of Mary Wills Sargent’s children, Elizabeth and Samuel. Note the monkey puzzle tree out front.

Stone House, Blisworth, Northamptonshire

Stone House in Blisworth, circa 1935?

Below are two photos taken in Roade of “Yew Tree Cottage” the home in which Zillah Simpson lived. Notice the old gas lamp out front. Zillah was the daughter of Phoebe Wills and John Simpson, about whom I have spoken in previous posts. Zillah spent summers living in the ground floor room on the left (facing the house). In the winter she lived upstairs. She wrote in a postcard that the upstairs room was “cheerful” and looked toward the station. The second photo of the house shows their maid standing out front. Curiously there’s a middle window upstairs in one photo which is absent in the second photo. I presume by the growth of the ivy that it was added sometime later. Zillah lived here until her passing in 1920. I don’t know when the photos were taken, but it must have been before 1920 since Zillah sent them as postcards to my grandmother and her mother.

Yew Tree Cottage, Roade, Northamptonshire

Yew Tree Cottage, Roade, Northamptonshire

This next photo is a photo of the house in which another daughter of Phoebe Wills and John Simpson lived. Mary Simpson Gardiner lived here with her husband William Gardiner. For 54 years, he managed the “Wait Estate.” I have not done any research yet to see what/where Wait Estate was/is, but at some point, I’ll get to it! Click on Gardiner in the list of Categories and you will see a photo of the couple. In the photo album from which I retrieved these photos, there were additional photos of Courteenhall Manor (in miserable condition–the photo, not the manor) and some of the workmen’s cottages on the estate. I am not sure how Courteenhall Manor, which is in or neighboring Roade, relates to the Waits/Simspons/Gardiners or Wait Estate. Perhaps the photo is there just because it is a local place of interest.

Gardiner Residence for 54 Years

Courteenhall Manor, Northamptonshire

Courteenhall Manor, Workmen's Cottages

Some modern-day photos of Courteenhall courtesy of Cj1340 posted on Ookaboo (free pictures of everything on Earth):

Courteenhall House Fete 2008


Categories: Blisworth, Northamptonshire, Gardiner, Roade, Northants, Simpson, Wills | Leave a comment

George Wills’s Granddaughters

George Wills's descendants, Northamptonshire, no later than 1897

George Wills's descendants, Northamptonshire, no later than 1897

12/14/2011: Please see the update to this post.

To the left  is a photo taken no later than 1897. In the wheelchair is Phoebe and John Simpson’s daughter Zillah Wills Simpson (29 Jul 1843 – 10 Apr 1920). Standing in the rear are the elder Simpsons’ daughter Sarah German Simpson Caswell (30 Mar 1849-8 Jan 1929). Seated on the right is the elder Simpsons’ daughter Mary (2 Feb 1839-6 Feb 1917).

The photo was obtained by my grandmother Zillah Trewin from her cousin Ella Caswell Carter, Sarah German Simpson Caswell’s daughter, during a July 1935 trip to England. I presume the 1897 cut-off date for the photo was because John Simspon did not live beyond that year. My grandmother Zillah Trewin was named after Zillah Wills Simpson.

John Simpson and Phoebe Wills had six daughters and one son. Missing from this photo are daughter Ann, who married Hercules Smith and emigrated to Australia; Martha, who died at age four; Phoebe, who married Phillip Barnes; and John Simpson who married Fanny Smith and then Mary Bell. I do not know whether Hercules Smith and Fanny Smith were related.

Categories: Blisworth, Northamptonshire, Caswell, England, Gardiner, Roade, Northants, Sargent, Simpson, Wills | Leave a comment

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