Research is a wonderful thing and there is always a story within a story, within a story. The very word ‘research’ tickles something deep in my cerebral cortex. I have discovered that nothing comes to fruition on one’s own. Links are found and must be followed and where they lead may not be anywhere close to where you thought you wanted to go. And sometimes in a very round about fashion they take you right back to exactly where you wanted to go in the first place,
Do you believe in serendipity; chance occurrences that result in a happy outcome? There are many who claim there is no such thing as coincidence. Either way wonderful things can and do happen.
I have a very dear friend who lives half a world away from me in New Zealand named Judith. We started blogging on WordPress about the same time and an immediate link was established. So we began emailing, then messaging and now we Skype each week, she with a morning tea, and me often with an evening glass of red. This had been going on for some time, not the drinking but the Skyping and one day she asked, ‘What are you working on?’
I told her about my great-grandmother, about British Home Children, and about my research which had been going on for year at this point. At first I just gave general information, and Judith told me about a movie called Oranges and Sunshine, a movie based on a book, Empty Cradles, by Margaret Humphreys and I told her about, Orphan at My Door, written by Jean Little.
On this particular Skype session I expressed my frustration at not knowing how to proceed with the information I had. “I even have her address her family lived at from her birth certificate we got from Somerset House in 1963. She was born February 14th, 1884 and her family lived at 4 Poole Rd. South Hackney.”
There was a long pause and I thought perhaps the computer screen had frozen as it does from time to time. “Where was she born?” Judith asked.
I repeated the information. Judith calmly said, “That’s about a mile from where I grew up.” *Please note this was in a different century.
We marveled at the coincidence of it all. Judith then said that her sister Marianne still lived in England and at times would go into London. Well next thing I knew this arrived,
Obviously the original structures are no longer there but I felt overwhelmed by the very thought of the location, the historical link between two friends and the loving action of a sister thousands of miles from each of us. It sort of completes a circle, or in this case a triangle on the globe.
THE REST OF THE STORY
We knew the when and the where but not the why or the who until now.
In 1859 there was a former Cholera Hospital at 60 Commercial St. and Flowers and Dean St. which Annie MacPherson first used as The Home. In the late 1880’s it moved to the corner of Club Row and Bethnal Green Rd. which was on the edge of old Nicholas Slum. This is where Annie was taken. Thanks to Google Maps this is what that area looks like now:
London, especially East End London was full of designated slum neighbourhoods.
Annie was shipped to Canada as part of the BHC program in 1888. She left Liverpool with 86 other children on July 12, 1888 on board the ship The Parisian. She arrived in Quebec on July 21, 1888 and then proceeded to Stratford, Ontario.
Not much is known about her life her until 1899 when at the age of 15 she married James Henry White.
But what of her family in England? What happened to her folks? Did she have brothers and sisters? What happened in a four year period from birth on Poole Rd. to entry as an orphan at Bethnal Green? Lots of questions and now some answers.
Francis Frampton, Annie’s father, was born about 1843, and lived at Mile End, Islington, London.
He was a widower when he married Edith Davies, having been previously married to Sarah Louisa Langlois who lived from 1847 to 1871 and with whom he had a son, William F. Frampton who was born in 1871. Presumably she died in childbirth but that is not a confirmed fact. I currently have no knowledge of what happened to William.
Francis married Edith Davies on April 22, 1873 and they lived at 74 Hill St.
Following family lines gets a little confusing for me, so I will start with Annie’s grandparents.
Francis father was also named Francis Frampton (there were 3 generations I know of named Francis Frampton so I shall refer to them as 1, 2, and 3. Annie’s father was the 2nd).
Francis Frampton 1 was born in 1812 (no date of death known yet), and he married Elizabeth Yorkton Slo (1813-1837). He was a banker’s clerk.
Now Annie’s mother and father were: Joshua Davies, born 1817 and married to Eliza Stevens, also born 1817. I do not know at this point of Edith Davies had siblings.
Francis Frampton 2nd (Annie’s father) did have known siblings, Ann Frampton born 1847, William Frampton, born 1849, George Frampton 1845, and Elizabeth Frampton 1840. So he was one of five known children.
Francis 2nd and Edith Davies Frampton had 3 known children in addition to their half brother William. They were:
*Alice Maude Frampton (1876-1958). This very interesting first known child of Francis and Edith was Baptized November 19, 1876, in the Parish, All Hallows, Tottenham, in the Borough Harringly. She died June 27th, 1958. Maude never married.
*Francis Frampton 3rd (1878) who wed Grace Violet Thomas (born 1889). Francis George Frampton was baptized July 28th, 1878 and the baptism record shows their address at 54 Arlington Rd. and his father’s (Francis 2nd) occupation as Grocer’s Assistant.
And then of course *Annie Frampton 1884 – who was Baptized April 24, 1884.
Our family, and Annie Frampton White, wondered for many years what happened that this wee girl ended up homeless and thousands of miles away. Speculation had been that her father had died and her mother simply could not look after this child.
The truth is much sadder. Annie’s mother was born in 1853 and died in 1887. There is another death listed that same day in the same place as Albert Frampton age 0, so I can only assume Edith Davies Frampton died in childbirth, as did Francis 2nd, first wife Sarah.
It would seem that he just could not look after this youngest child. Her brother and older sister could contribute to the household, even at their young ages but not a child of 3. There was a record of Francis Frampton, spouse Edith Davies Frampton who died in Pennsylvania. As soon as I have that specific info I will add it here in an edit.
So folks that is the story as promised. Many many questions answered. Many more to ask. But for Annie Frampton White this is THE story.