top of page

Family History: My paternal grandmother's side

I have already shared the maternal side of my family tree. Now to my paternal grandmother, my dad's mum. Luckily for me my uncle and my great-uncle have done a whole load of research and even have a website with lots of information.

We'll start with my granny, Joan Lilian Partleton, she was born in Earlsfield, South London in 1928. She was much loved by all of us and sorely missed after she passed away in 2003. She was the type of granny who gave big hugs, straightened your collar and made delicious dinners.

Her parents were Frederick Charles Partleton and Marguerite Ethel Eve.

We'll start with my great-grandad. Frederick Partleton was born in 1898 in Lambeth, South London to Charles Partleton and Susan Ann Pirie. I remember him coming to our house sometimes when I was a child, he passed away in 1987.

My great-grandparents actually had 12 children in total, the second pregnancy being twins who sadly died as babies. Here is an old photo with a fair few of the Partletons' (not all of them) - that is my granny in the middle row on the right.

My 2 x great grand mother, Susan Ann Pirie was born on 9 June 1864 in Bethnal Green, East London. Notorious at the time as Jack the Ripper territory. Susan worked as a furrier (fur sewer) this was quite a common job in East London. Her mother was Frances Salter her father was David Pirie, a journeyman wood sawyer. Thanks to my uncle's research we can see the Pirie family originated from Aberdeenshire in Scotland. The Salter's came from Ireland. Luckily for me I have this picture of Susan.

In 1896, Susan remarried after being widowed - to a younger man - my 2 x great-granddad Charles "Wag" Partleton. Apparently he was quite a character. I was given some information from a relative who I contacted through Ancestry, Alan's grandad and my 2 x great grandad were brothers, he had spoken with my great-grandad Fred a good 40 years ago - he told me this: "We had a lovely chat about Wag and my grandad and he told me some interesting things like the drinking sessions he was sent to interrupt at The Castle pub in Tooting to tell his dad, Wag, that he was wanted home NOW! But not before my grandad had got Fred to take off his shirt and show everyone in the pub his muscles as Fred was quite fit at the time and knew how to look after himself. They were all drunk and apparently Wag was a bit of a showman himself as he could do stunts like eating glass, but that is what it was like then. My grandad was always drunk on payday and would then walk home from Tooting with no money and nan had to go to the pawn shop for a bit of money to get by."

Even luckier, we now actually have a photo of Wag! He is such an elusive family member, nobody seems to know where or when he died......

Charles Partleton was born on 28 April 1868 in Lambeth. He had been a soldier returning from service in India, after which he worked as a labourer. Money was very tight for the family. In 1904 Charles had a serious but failed suicide attempt at Vauxhall Station, aged 34, he tried to jump in front of a train

Here is a snippet from the Daily Telegraph - written out below:

"Charles Partleton, 34, Army Reservist from the Rifle Brigade was charged with attempting his life by jumping in front of a locomotive at Vauxhall Railway Station.

Henry Hurst, a porter in the service of the South-Western Railway Company deposed that at 12:30 that morning the Prisoner leaped from the edge of the platform and threw himself across the metals, right in front of the approaching light engine. The Witness pulled him off the rails just in time to save him. The Defendant tried to break away, saying, "Why did you not let me do it?"

Defendant [Charles Partleton]: "I thank you now for what you did"

Mr Horace Smith [Magistrate]: "You may well do that, because he saved your life"

Witness [Henry Hurst]: "I hardly know how I managed it, for the engine was right on us. From what I have heard since I think the poor fellow has had a lot of trouble."

The Defendant said he deeply regretted his cowardly act, but he had been overwhelmed with misfortune. Ever since he had returned from the [Boer] War, things had been unsettled, and lately he could get no employment. He had sold up his home and everything he had got, even to his medals, and he had a sick wife and four little children wanting the very necessaries of life.

The Magistrate: "What are you?"

Defendant [Charles Partleton]: "I am a general labourer and handyman of good character. The last job I had was at Buckingham Palace"

"I finished work there on Christmas Eve [1903], to go home to be laid up with rheumatic fever. I was nine weeks on my back, and since then I have had no regular employment."

The mother [Jane Willcox] and wife [Susan Pirie] of the defendant, both sobbing at the back of the court, were called forward and the older woman, almost overcome with emotion stated that her son had served eight years in India. She was, unhappily, not in a position to help him and she knew that all the chairs went last week to buy a bit of food for the little ones.

Mr Horace Smith [Magistrate]: "The Missionary [a church charity] will see what can be done, and I think that the best thing I can do is to order a remand for a week."

Defendant [Charles Partleton]: "Don't shut me up, sir, for a week. My poor wife has lately been under an operation at the hospital for a tumour in her head. [Susan actually died 25 years later of breast cancer and secondary carcinoma of her spinal column]

Mr Horace Smith [Magistrate]: "I will look after your wife and children while you are away. You can do nothing for them."

The defendant's wife and mother were escorted from the court weeping bitterly."

Such a sad story. We are still looking for information about where and when he died, a relative has suggested that he may have been a Chelsea Pensioner, so I think that is my next port of call.

I also now have been extremely lucky and have photos of Charles' parents too, Charles Greenwood Partleton (1842-1918) and Jane Ann Willcox (1842-1925). These are my 3 x great grandparents, these headshots have been cropped from a wedding photo taken in 1917.

Charles Greenwood Partleton

Jane Ann Willcox

The Partleton family can be traced back to the 1700s in London. I could go into way more detail but that would involve a whole lot of writing.

Now, onto the Eve family. Marguerite Ethel Eve (my great-grandmother) was born in Beddington, Surrey (the same place as me) in 1897 to William Henry Eve and Emily Stevens. Here she is.

Her father William Eve was actually born in Sheffield, Yorkshire in 1856 although he was brought up in Essex - where all the Eve's seem to originate from. He died in 1949 in Croydon.

Her mother Emily Stevens was born in 1857 in Alfold, Surrey to William Stevens and Elizabeth Whale. From what I have found this side of the family were all from Surrey and Sussex.

I have managed to trace the Eve family back 11 generations to Richard Eve born in 1584 in Little Dunmow in Essex. I hope this is correct, it is so easy to get carried away and take wrong turns.

I have much more detail on my family tree on Ancestry but I just wanted to share the basics with everybody.

You can see here again there is a strong connection with the South East of England with a small amount of Scottish and Irish ancestry too.

My last instalment will be my paternal grandfather - before I share the DNA results!

bottom of page