When looking at trees which don't belong to me I am able to be reasonably confident with names and dates once the event is confirmable by looking at census between 1841 and 1911. However, I don't like relying on the conjecture and, so called, research of others as a number of trees published on Ancestry contain errors copied by name collectors from one tree to another containing obvious inaccuracies.
- was baptised 3 years before he was born (see opposite) and
- had a sibling born just 3 months after his own birth (see below)
I am however able to say with reasonable confidence, having checked the census and satisfied myself as to the consistency of the information, that this particular twig began with James Musgrove in 1808.
James Musgrove (1808 - 1868)
James was born in Kempston, Bedfordshire on 3rd January 1808 and he became an agricultural labourer. He married Eliza Robinson, a lacemaker, in 1829 and they had at least 12 children :
Levi (1833), Samuel (1836), Joseph (1838), Elizabeth (1841), Frederick (1843), Mary (1845), John (1848), Ann (1850), James (1852), Henry (1854), Sarah (1856) and Benjamin (1859) - some of whom almost certainly died while still young
Frederick Musgrove (1843 - 1909)
Frederick died aged 66 on 9th January 1909. His coffin was not insubstantial being "of polished oak with massive brass fitting". His obituary says that he was well known, highly esteemed, and had been employed for 46 years at the Britannia Iron Works, Bedford. At the funeral, his colleagues had sent a beautiful globe with a card placed inside as a "token of respect from the smithery and grinding department”.
Sadly, less than six months later on 1st July his wife, also 66, died "after patient suffering" and "her remains were laid to rest in the Cemetery, as were his at the beginning this year". Her coffin was of "polished elm with brass fittings". In neither her husband's obituary or her own was she given a name other than 'Mrs F.Musgrove'. I am pleased to report she did have a name - Martha.
Clifford Musgrove (1901 - 1941)
My daughter was in Buxton last week and sent me a photograph of their war memorial which included a "C.Musgrove". She asked if he was one of ours and was the starting point for this blog. Sadly the answer was "No" but it did lead me to research his twig.
I have since determined that Clifford, one of the Kempston Musgroves, was in the Merchant Navy during WW2. He was Chief Engineering Officer on a ship called Silvercedar when, on 15th October 1941, it was hit on the starboard side near the engine room by a single torpedo fired from a German U-boat. It sank after about 7 minutes with a loss of twenty one lives, including Clifford.
Whether any of these Musgroves will feature in my own story is speculative at the moment, but who knows how it will all fit together once a few more brick walls have been knocked down. Was James Musgrove, born in Kempston in 1808, related to my Mary Musgrove who had an illegitimate son, John, in Kings Brompton, Somerset in 1805 ? Unlikely I would say but really at the moment we don't know.
Silvercedar photo - Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart
Brittannia Iron Works photo - Britain from above