SMITHERS genealogy

21 October 2008




Dr Geoffrey Mann

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SMITHERS family summary

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2 Lavinia Jessie SMITHERS 1864-1922


spouse's records

m Herbert Henry MANN 1886








Lavinia Jessie Smithers (known in later life as Jessie) was born in 1864 in the Mile End Workhouse, the second illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Smithers, a domestic servant.   Elizabeth kept both daughters even though she applied for parish relief and was ordered to leave Mile End.  In the census of 1871, Jessie was living with her mother and older sister in Brentford.   Here she probably attended the well-regarded local British School for the poor supported by the Rothschild family.


Later that year, Jessie’s mother married an Irish soldier, Timothy Noonan, who was a student at the Royal Military School of Music at Whitton just 3 miles from Brentford. It is almost certain that Jessie and Timothy met at Brentford and that Timothy was not Jessie’s father. 


Timothy left the army in 1876 with the intention of residing near Brentford.  For reasons as yet unknown,  Jessie, her sister, her mother and Timothy, moved to the garrison town of Shoeburyness in Essex at some time between 1876 and 1879.   At this time, Jessie witnessed the marriage of her sister to a soldier from the garrison.


Jessie became a domestic servant in Shoebury, possibly to the Glasscock family at Napier House in Shoebury High St.  In the 1881 census, aged 16, however she was visiting the CHURCH family inside the Garrison, but was not their servant (perhaps it is significant that the Glasscocks had no servant at home on census night).  George Glasscock, a son of the family the same age as Jessie, wrote to her in 1885 describing an explosion in the Garrison.


In 1886 Jessie married Herbert Henry Mann at Shoebury St Andrews just after her 22nd birthday and moved into a newly built house in Cambridge Rd S.Shoebury.  Her first three children however were born in Elim cottage, her husband’s family home.   Their last child Harold Robin was born in their own home, but he died before his first birthday and was buried at St Andrews Church.  All her children were baptised by the Presbyterian Chaplain from Shoebury Garrison who had been a lodger at Napier House in 1881.


Later, the family moved to "Aintree" on the corner of West Rd and Church Rd, Shoebury and her ambitious husband started his successful firm of house builders in the nearby West Rd yard.  Jessie continued her association with the Garrison by boarding army officers or their families in her home.    Her two sons served in the first world war and afterwards, the eldest emigrated to Canada following the death of his wife.  Her other son and daughter remained unmarried at home.


Along with her husband, Jessie became a prominent member of the Shoebury Primitive Methodist Church for many years.  In 1921 she represented the Shoebury Sunday School at the Quarterly circuit meeting.


In 1922 aged 57, she had a heart attack (said to have occurred on a bus) and died at home, her husband present at her death.


Photographs of Lavinia Jessie taken during the earlier years of her marriage show an unsmiling, almost gaunt, young woman, perhaps indicative of her impoverished childhood.  Later portraits however show a more rounded smiling face, again perhaps indicating the change in her fortunes in later life.







click thumbnails to see enlarged photos and text



with the Mann family c1888



with her family c1890-1900



with her Sunday school class? c1900?






























 2Apr1871  6  

  Aug1871  6

28Mar1876 11


 3Apr1881 16

25Jny1884 19 

28Dec1886 22 25

 7Oct1887 22 25

18Dec1888 23 26

19Apr1890 25 28

27Jan1891 26 29

 5Apr1891 26 29

24Sep1891 27 30

19Aug1892 27 30

31Mar1901 36 39

23May1919 54 57

     1921 56 59

18Mar1922 57 60

born in Mile End Workhouse

at Brentford with her mother and sister

mother married Timothy NOONAN at Brentford

Timothy discharged from the army with a pension

became a domestic servant in Shoebury, possibly to the Glasscock family

visited the CHURCH family in Shoebury Garrison

mother died at Shoeburyness

married Herbert Henry MANN at S Shoebury parish church

son Herbert Henry born at Elim Cottages; baptised 20Nov1887 in Garrison church

dau Dora Jessie born

son Wilfred born; baptised 25May1890 in the Garrison church

dau Dora Jessie baptised in the Garrison Church

with husband and 3 children at 4 Cambridge Cottages, Shoeburyness

son Harold Robin born

son Harold Robin buried at S Shoebury parish church

with husband, 3 children and lodgers at “Aintree” on corner of West and Church Rd, Shoebury

eldest son emigrated to Canada

represented the Sunday School at the Methodist Circuit meeting

Lavinia Jessie died of heart failure







b=born  m=married  d=died

C=Christened      B=Buried




the 1891 census shows Lavinia born about 1864 in Mile End; the unusual name identifies the following certificate:


b 17Dec1864 Lavinia, girl, at Mile End Workhouse; mother: Elizabeth SMITHERS

r  28Dec1864 at Mile End Old Town, Eastern, MDX by Elizabeth x SMITHERS of Mile End Workhouse





m 28Dec1886 at St Andrews parish church, S Shoebury

Herbert Henry MANN bch, 25, carpenter of S Shoebury, & Lavinia Jessica SMITHERS spr, 22, of S Shoebury;

fathers: Henry MANN, market gardener; James SMITHERS, [no occupation stated]

wit: Thomas FISHER, Henrietta FISHER, W W MANN, B HALLUM


[Lavinia’s birth certificate shows that she was illegitimate; James SMITHERS was her grandfather’s name]

[Henrietta FISHER was Herbert’s sister;  W W MANN (Walter Wenden) was his brother; HALLUM was a work colleague]



from Family Bible:


b  7Oct1887 Herbert Henry at South Shoebury

b 18Dec1888 Dora Jessie at South Shoebury

b 19Apr1890 Wilfred at South Shoebury

b 24Sep1891 Harold Robin at South Shoebury; d7Aug1892 at South Shoebury

baptismal certificates (baptised at Shoebury by Hugh DRENNAN, Presbyterian Army Chaplain)


C 20Nov1887 b  7Oct1887 Herbert Henry s Herbert Henry & Jessie MANN carpenter

C 25May1890 b 19Apr1890 Wilfrid       s Herbert Henry & Jessie MANN carpenter

C 27Jan1891 b 18Dec1888 Dora Jessie   d Herbert & Jessie MANN carpenter

C  8Nov1891 b 24Sep1891 Harold Robin  s Herbert & Jessie MANN carpenter

birth certificates:


Herbert Henry MANN boy B 7Oct1887 at Elim Cottages, South Shoebury

fa Herbert Henry MANN, carpenter; mo Lavinia Jessie MANN formerly SMITHERS

r 15Nov1887 at Great Wakering, Rochford, ESS by Herbert Henry MANN, father, of Elim Cottages, S.Shoebury,


Wilfrid MANN boy B 19Apr1890 at Elim Cottages, South Shoebury

fa Herbert Henry MANN, carpenter (master); mo Lavinia Jessie MANN formerly SMITHERS

r 3Jun1890 at Great Wakering, Rochford, ESS by Lavinia Jessie MANN, mother, of South Shoebury,

from S.Shoebury parish register:


B 19Aug1892 Harold Robin MANN age 10m of S Shoebury





d 18Mar1922 Lavinia Jessie MANN female 57, wife of Herbert Henry MANN, carpenter (master) at Aintree, Church Rd, Shoeburyness

            of cardiac failure

r 18Mar1922 at Great Wakering, Rochford, ESS by H.H MANN, widower of deceased, of Aintree, Church Rd, Shoeburyness pad


d 10Jan1928 Herbert Henry MANN male 66, builder and contractor, at Aintree, Church Rd, Shoeburyness, of cardiac failure

r 10Jan1928 at Great Wakering, Rochford, ESS by W  MANN, son, of Aintree, Church Rd Shoeburyness





1871 Brentford MDX Alley British School RG10/1318 f164


Elizabeth      SMITHERS he wid 32 dress maker                Hounslow MDX

Eliza Mary Ann SMITHERS da     12 dress maker                Mile End MDX

Jese Leine(sic)SMITHERS da      6                            Mile End MDX



1881 Shoeburyness ESS Garrison RG11/1772 f118


Henry       CHURCH     he mar 34  1847    soldier foreman of works (E-pts)       Newbury Berks

Harriet     CHURCH     wi mar 38  1843                                           Herne Bay

Henry Thos  CHURCH     so     7   1874    scholar                                Shoeburyness

Alfred Chas CHURCH     so     5   1876    scholar                                Shoeburyness

Harriet     CHURCH     da     1   1880                                           Shoeburyness

Arthur J    CHURCH     so     6m  1880                                           Shoeburyness

Sivinia J   SMITHERS   vi unm 16  1865    domestic servant                       Hackney


NOTE:Sivinia=Lavinia; not sure she was visiting CHURCH family as no lines between successive families



1891 South Shoebury ESS, 4 Cambridge Cottages RG12/1394 f88


Herbert H  MANN        he mar 29  1861    carpenter                        Sutton, ESS

Lavinia J  MANN        wi mar 26  1864                                     Mile End, London

Herbert H  MANN        so     3   1887                                     Shoeburyness

Dora J     MANN        da     2   1889                                     Shoeburyness

Wilfred    MANN        so     11m 1890                                     Shoeburyness



1901 Shoeburyness ESS, Aintree, West Rd  RG13/1686 f26


Herbert H     MANN     he mar 39 1862     carpenter     worker      Sutton, ESS

Jessie L      MANN     wi mar 36 1865                               London

Herbert H     MANN     so     13 1888                               Shoeburyness ESS

Dora J        MANN     da     12 1889                               Shoeburyness ESS

Wiilfred      MANN     so     10 1891                               Shoeburyness ESS

Elizabeth E   FINCH    bo sin 29 1872     nurse domestic            Shoreham Sussex

Aphra J       TYNDALL  bo sin 17 1884                               Ireland

Muriel B L    TYNDALL  bo     15 1886                               Ascension Island    W.African colony[?]

George H      TYNDALL  bo      7 1894                               Gosport

Madeline M    TYNDALL  bo      4 1897                               Gosport

Katherine a H TYNDALL  bo      2 1899                               Southsea





1881 South Shoebury,   3 John St RG11/1772 f62 p15.


Timothy   NOONAN he mar 44  1837 laborer (Chelsea Pensioner)     Tiperary Ireland

Elizabeth NOONAN wi mar 42  1839                                 Hounslow MDX   [Lavinia’s mother]


Joseph    FOSTER he mar 29  1852 Corporal Royal Engineers        Sheffield YKS     

Elizabeth FOSTER wi mar 22  1859                                 London MDX     [Lavinia’s sister]

Elizabeth FOSTER da unm  6m 1880                                 Shoeburyness


1881 South Shoebury, Napier Place RG11/1772 f64 p19


George      GLASSCOCK he mar 39 1842 plumber painter etc  Southend ESS

Eliza       GLASSCOCK wi mar 39 1842 Prittlewell ESS

George W    GLASSCOCK so unm 16 1865 Shoebury ESS

Frd J       GLASSCOCK so     13 1868 scholar Shoebury

Priscilla P GLASSCOCK da      8 1873 scholar Shoebury

Priscilla   BRAYBROOK au     69 1812 formerly housekeeper soithend ESS

John        PAWSEY    ne unm 17 1864 apprentice plumber Prittlewell ESS

Hugh        DRENNAN   lo unm 52 1829 army chaplain Scotland







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